The restaurants we have included in this guide mainly serve Italian cuisine as this would seem the most interesting for the tourist visitor (when in Rome .... ): first hand Italian food within reach! Take advantage!
We have taken on board only a small part of the thousands of restaurants in Milan and made the selection based on customer reviews.
Although traditionally there were different types of restaurants, like osteria, trattoria, ristorante and the like, the difference between these types generally has blurred, so you do not really have to worry about the precise denominations. They all serve more or less the same type of food.
As a general rule you may find it worthwhile to stay away from the touristy areas (around the Duomo, the Galleria and the Scala) and take the effort to go a little out of city center: prices drop and more importantly, the food usually becomes better. There are some exceptions of course and these are mentioned in this guide.
Italians dine later than in many other (northern) countries, so don't try to get a decent meal before 19.00 hr, but preferably go at 20.00 hr or even later. In case you really need to fill up in before, you might try one of the italian style Fastfood restaurants. But the aperitivo may be a better idea.
The traditional Italian menu offers a range of courses, from the antipasti (starters), via the primi piatti (first courses, pasta and/or risotto), secondi (meat, fish) with contorni (vegetables) to the dolci, fruit and/or desserts. Italian coffee and maybe a digestivo to round up! An exception to this rule is the typically Milanese piatto unico of the Ossobuco alla Milansese (meat with risotto) in which the first and second course are combined.
One usually doesn't eat one's way all through the menu, but restricts oneself to two or three courses (antipasto+primo, primo+secondo, plus dessert if you like). This would generally already present a full meal. The exception to this are the meals on feast days and the traditional Sunday lunch.
In most traditional restaurants you do not tip, as this is already taken into account by the coperto you pay (usually a few euro per person). You also commonly pay at the cash-desk instead of at the table. If you are not sure, just look around and see what happens at other tables.
Refined French "chique"
In the uptime Brera district you may find this modern restaurant of Andrea Provenzani, Il Liberty. Modern and creative cuisine, in Italian: cucina d'autore. French atmosphere.
The small menu changes every month to follow the seasonality of the ingredients,
Quality and creativity come at a price, this is not one of the cheapest establishments.
Viale Monte Grappa 6, tel.: 02 2901 1439
Metro 3 Repubblica
The ultimate ossobuco
At the edge of the Isola district, a bit hidden in a side street, this little island of Milanese traditional food is to be found.
Although the entire personnel is Chinese, apart from the owner, the risotto alla Milanese (yellow risotto served with ossobuco) is among the best you can find. Other typical dishes are:
Via Edoardo Porro 8, tel.: 02 6083 0205
Metro 3 Maciachini stop
Italian pound nostalgia
A nice rustic trattoria in the lively Brera district that serves authentic Mediterranean cuisine with pasta, meat and fish dishes.
The owners take a pride in keeping prices reasonable, although you DO pay in hard euro's and not the old Italian pound, as the name would suggest.
Live music from the owner now and then, nostalgic Italian classics. Open till late.
Largo La Foppa 5, tel.: 02 659 9136
Tram 2 Piazza Lega Lombarda stop
Keep it small and simple
Right in between Sempione Park and the Giardini Pubblici you'll find this little restaurant, that serves a small selection of traditional "forgotten" and simple dishes on a daily changing menu.
Located close to the Brera district,the Latteria is frequented by journalists and the like. It is housed in a former milk dispensing business, from which it took its name.
Home made desserts are served, but not the best of wines.
Via San Marco 24, tel.: 02 659 7653
Metro 3 Turati stop
In the heart of Brera, in Via Fiori Chiari you will find the Nabucco restaurant. It has a terrace where you can dine outside. The Nabucco, specializes in the traditional Italian cuisine with its homemade pasta and Milanese delicacies, Every evening a candle-lit dinner wíth a background of soft classical or jazz music awaits you at the Nabucco.
Via Fiori Chiari 10, tel.:02 860663
Metro 2, Lanza Stop
Milanese cuisine with a modern twist
The menu of this restaurant is like its design and location: historical with a modern twist.
Ratanà is located in the futuristic Garibaldi - Porta Nuova district in a former railway station. The food served is based on Milan's traditional dishes, with a little fantasy added.
Also available (from 6-8:30) is an aperitivo, called "Rubitt": a dish with small tapas like snacks, based on the real dishes of the menu.
Pranzo di Lavoro (workmen's lunch) at weekdays for 18 euro.
Via Gaetano de Castillia, 28, tel.: 02 87128855
From Cadorna station take metro 2 Gioia stop
A perfect place for a relaxed dinner or a few drinks
This restaurant is a cozy place in the center of Milan with a great atmosphere. The menu includes a huge selection of cheeses, meats, bruschetta, etc, from all over Italy. A combination of these snacks makes the perfect sharing platter (which come in all sizes). There is is also a fine selection of wines.
Via Anfiteatro 4, tel.:02 8909 6666
Metro M2, Lanza stop
One of the oldest restaurants of Milan, located in a historical building in plain city center, this is a sure winner, not just for tourists.
Originally a wine cellar, then a wine bar and a real restaurant from the late '60s, this place has a long tradition in hospitality.
Typical dishes of Lombardy cuisine, such as the risotto with mushrooms and chestnuts, the risotto alla Milanese and the ossobuco are served here.
Giving its history and name, it does not come as a surprise that there is also an excellent enoteca on the spot.
A bite of Italian: cantinone means big wine cellar, as cantina is the common name for such a cellar and the Italian language uses the postfix -one to designate something big.
Via Agnello 19, tel.: 02 863015
Metro 1 and 2, Duomo stop
Eating at a medieval square
At the very central Piazza Mercanti the restaurant with the corresponding name can be found. It is housed in the Palazzo Panigarola that faces one side of the square.
This is a Milanese classic since the '50s offering the traditional dishes of the city and of Italy, like the risotto alla Milanese, polenta and more.
In summer you can eat outside and enjoy the beautiful square while tasting excellent food.
Prices are quite reasonable given location and quality
Piazza Dei Mercanti 17, 02 805 2198
Metro 1 and 2, Duomo stop .
A fine ride and dine
ATMosfera is a restaurant tram, that offers you a mobile evening out.
Two tastefully restored trams, ATMosfera 1 and ATMosfera 2, have been transformed into true restaurants with a retro atmosphere.
There's a choice of three different menus (meat, fish and vegetarian). The round trip lasts about two and a half hours. Payment may be made directly on board the tram.
Piazza Castello civico 2, tel.: 02 4860 7607
A divine mouthful
Not far from the beautiful Sant'Ambrogio you'll find an earthly gourmet's paradise at Boccondivino. justly carrying its name: boccondivino means a divine mouthful and a mouthful of wine at the same time.
There's a fixed menu that starts with a welcoming prosecco and (many plates later) ends with fresh and mature cheeses (more than 40 varieties to choose from). In between you have tasted pinzimonio (olive oil mixed with vinegar, salt and pepper in which raw vegetables are dipped), all kinds of hams and salami, pasta, risotto and gnocchi.
Several of the best wines will be served, with advice from the restaurant's sommeliers.
A place to bring your best (and very hungry) friends!
Via Carducci 17, 02.866040
Metro 2, Cadorna stop
Great food in city center
If you do not want to far and eat well at a reasonable price the Cucina del Toro might well be the one for you. Located right in city center in between the Duomo and the Castello, this tranquil restaurant offers some of the best dishes to be found in Milan and is a bit of a hidden secret. Its menus recall Italian culinary tradition, with particular attention to popular characteristics and tastes
via Camperio 15, tel.: 02 875107
Metro 1, Cairoli stop
Wine Bar and Restaurant
This is a modern style wine bar and restaurant in city center, south west of the Duomo. Apart from the wide range of wines on offer, there is a happy hour aperitivo and lunch restaurant (the closing time is 8pm).
There are two menu's with light, tasteful and varied dishes: a traditional one and one with more fantasy to it.
As the venue is located on top of ancient Roman tower ruins, there is the possibility to visit the basement and see some of the remains.
Largo Carrobbio 4, tel.: 02 86451984
Metro 2, S.Ambrogio stop
Trattoria and antique
Not to be confused with another establishment with the same name (quite possible in a city with over 6000 restaurants), this 80-year old one is quite close to the Piazza Duomo and a classic.
Traditional Milanese/Lombardy dishes are served here, cooked to perfection alla casalinga like nervetti (veal shank), several risotti and ravioli, mondeghili (type of meatballs), cotoletta alla milanese, foiolo (cow stomach), cassoeula.
A bite of Italian: alla casalinga is the expression used to indicate that something is prepared like the housewife/your Italian mother would have done it. Quality!
Via Santa Marta 11, 02 8645 1991
The name of this restaurant is well chosen as it is white and spacious. Modern styling, modern haute cuisine, young chef and personnel. Ristorante Bianca is located just outside city centre near Porta Magenta.
The menu offers a mixture of meat, vegetable and fish in re-inventions of traditional Milanese dishes. The famous cassoeula is fishy here.
The restaurant is open at lunch time as well and closes very late (2am).
Via Bartolomeo Panizza 10, tel.:02 45409037
Tram 16, Corso Vercelli/Via Settimo Severo stop
Young & traditional
Far west at the edge of the city lies La Pesa, run and frequented by the young, but still in a authentic trattoria style (table cloths, old photo's, display of bottles).
Traditional Lombard dishes are served here:
The desserts are home-made. And all at very reasonable prices.
via Fantoni 26, tel.: 02 3651 4525
Bus 98, Via Morgantini/Via Civitali stop
Di una volta (like it used to be)
Close to the Tangentiale Ovest, i.e. far west of city center, is this peculiar place with a peculiar website (have a look!). It's a rather informal place with a family atmosphere. Don't be surprised if they start singing Milanese songs one evening.
Mamma Elena prepares the dishes come una volta, like they did once, like tagliatelli with mushrooms, ravioli, gnocchi, trippa etc.
Prices are very modest indeed. Very cheap pranzo, at 9 euro a meal.
It doesn't get more traditional than here.
Via delle Forze Armate, 405, tel.: 02 48911166
Bus 58, Via Mosca stop
Simple and traditional
At three minutes walk from the Santa Maria delle Grazie in the direction of Porta Magenta you will find this true family restaurant with a flair. They serve traditinal foods at reasonable prices. An obvious lunch choice before, or after your visit to the Last Supper
Corso Magenta 78, tel.:02 5810 9204
Metro 1, Conciliazione stop
Tram 16, S. Maria Delle Grazie stop
Creative cuisine in the Navigli district
One of the better restaurants of the Navigli district, Al Pont de Ferr has developed from a traditional trattoria into a restaurant with a more refined and surprising cuisine ... with an effect on the price level.
Worth a try according to many client reviewers.
Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 55, tel.:02 89406277
Metro 2 Porta Genova
Tram 9, 29/30 Vigevano Corsico stop
At the storyteller's
In the Navigli district there is this little place called "The Storyteller", El Barbapedana in Milanese dialect. This barbapedana was a kind of 19th century hobo who went from osteria to osteria to tell his stories and drink some wine (for free of course, so you"d better make up some stories as well).
The name of this tiny restaurant breathes local tradition and so does it's atmosphere and kitchen. Local specialties are to be had here, at modest prices: cassoeula alla Milanese, ossobuco con risotto, zuppa di cipolle, stinco di maiale etc.
At Mon-Thu evenings there is a discount of 15% on the evening menu.
A bite of Italian (dialect):
El barbapedana gh'aveva un gilèt
curt davanti cont sensa el de drè
sensa butun, lung una spana
l'era 'l gilet del Barbapedana.
This is part of an old folk song about the clothing of the hobo, which traditionally consisted of a long overcoat without buttons.
Corso Cristoforo Colombo, 7, tel.: 02 8321732
Metro 2 Porta Genova stop
Tram 14, 2, 9, 20, 29, 30
Bus 47, 59, 74
For your fresh pasta pranzo
This is another small pasta laboratory where you can have your lunch at one of the few seats or take away to eat the fresh stuff at home. This shop is only open for lunch.
Via Ariberto 17, tel.: 02 5810 9707
Tram 2, 14 Corso Genova Via Ariberto stop.
On the railway tracks
Close to the binari (railway tracks) of Porta Genova, lies this Liberty style osteria with its pergolas, vines and jeux-de-boules court.
Known for its nice, romantic atmosphere, gourmet dishes, small "nouvelle cuisine" portions and somewhat elevated prices.
Lombardy classics such as
There's also a bistrot on the spot with the same name and somewhat lighter dishes.
Via Tortona 1, tel.:02 839 5095
Metro 2 Porta Genova
Tram 2 Corso Colombo stop, 9, 29/30
A bit further out of city center, but very conveniently located next to the Auditorium di Milano concert hall, lies the pleasant Osteria Conchetta. This is a small restaurant that offers Milanese traditionals, like several risotti, fresh home made pasta, cassoeula all'ossobuco. You are welcomed with a glass of spumante and a amuse gueule by the cordial staff and the owner.
There are special menu's according to the season and a degustazione menu at 40€.
In case you have to attend a concert at the Auditorium starting at 8 or 8:30, you may start your dinner here a bit earlier than usual, at (or even a bit before) 7. Or you may even join the Italians in eating late: the kitchen is open till midnight! Prices are very reasonable.
Via Conchetta 8, tel.: 02 837 2917
Tram 3 Via Meda - Via Tantardini stop.
Free reserved parking place for customers.
Menu a voce
This antica trattoria is very small and tucked away but worth the trip if you are in this part of Milan. It has no website, no menu but old style reading out of the dishes of the day at your table by the chef himself.
This is for people who like surprises (which may include the pay check, as this is not one of the cheapest places), but may not be everybody's cup of tea. The food is excellent though.
Via Dei Fontanili 2, tel.: 02 89511578
bus: 65, Via Bazzi Via Fontanili stop
A gentleman's venue
This is a well designed and groomed establishment modern style with flower garden.
The food has its origin in the Milanese and Napoletana kitchen, and there are some gluten free dishes.The wood stove is used for home made bread and roasts. There are regular piano concert evenings with special menus. Not one of the more economical restaurants!
Coffee is served alla Napoletana with the macchinetta (percolator) left at your table.
Piazza Carrara 21, tel.: 02 89550426
Tram 3 Via Montegani Viale Da Cermenate stop
A small family business
This is a small restaurant, but very cosy. The pastas and main dishes are very good, all home made and at reasonable prices
The restaurant is run by a family, Renato, the chef, is a true master of his business: qualified, funny and entertaining! Definitely worth the detour!
Via Giuseppe Ripamonti 21, tel: 02 2336 9893
Bus 24, Tram 24, Via Ripamonti Via Bellezza stop
Fish specialties to make you smile
Not far from train station Milano Lambrate this nice restaurant can be found. All content and little appearance with simple but very effective dishes, that's what Al Sorriso offers her guests. Honesty and authenticity are keywords here. The emphasis is on fish: seppie, cozze, vongole, gamberi and the like.
There is an a la carte menu and a menu that changes with the season.
About twice a month there's a fixed menu on a theme like orata, paella, mozzarella etc. at a price of about 30 euro, wine included.
Via Giuseppe Merzario 7, Tel.: 02 2364166
Tram 23 Stazione Lambrate stop
Risotto a rotazione
At moderation road (Via Temperanza) you'll find another gourmet's paradise: Trattoria Temperanza da Abele. It is a little up north, not far from the Stazione Centrale, that is definitely worth a look on its own.
Abele specializes in risotto, which is a specific Northern Italy dish. In case you wonder where all the mosquito's come from in summer: from the rice fields south of Milan.
The menu offers a choice of three risotto's, that changes every now and then, and several antipasti and second's. But you may just as well try all three risotto's instead of taking the traditional courses ... now that you're here.
Via Temperanza 5, tel.:02 261 3855
Metro 1 Pasteur stop.
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